End of Life Option Act wins historic vote

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

SACRAMENTO – A bill to allow terminally-ill Californians to request a doctor’s prescription for medication to aid in dying passed a significant hurdle today with its successful passage from the Assembly floor.

The bill, AB X2-15, is nearly identical to SB128, authored by State Senators Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and Lois Wolk (D-Davis), which stalled in an Assembly committee in July. Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) had worked closely with the senators on SB 128, and introduced the newer bill with their support in August, in the special extraordinary session on health care.

It passed from the Assembly floor on a vote of 43-34.

Eggman, Monning and Wolk issued statements on the historic significance of the Assembly vote.

“This issue is of immense importance to all Californians, and I was confident that the full Assembly, reflective of and responsive to the people it represents, would do the right thing and move us closer to making it possible for terminally-ill Californians to decide for themselves how to manage their last days,” Eggman said.

“The Assembly’s vote today reflects Californians’ overwhelming support for terminally ill individuals’ right to decide to die peacefully and without pain,” said Wolk. “We all hope for a comfortable death, to die painlessly surrounded by family and friends. But that’s not always the reality. There are terminally ill Californians who at this moment are suffering as they battle the final stages of their disease. Today we are one step closer to giving terminally ill Californians the ability to decide what is right for them with their doctor, their family and other loved ones.”

“This is a historic step forward for Californians with terminal illnesses who have been looking to the Legislature for the option to determine the quality of their final days of life based on their own personal beliefs,” Monning said.  “I want to thank the Assembly for its support of providing an option for terminally ill individuals who are faced with difficult end of life decisions.”
ABX2-15 now heads for the Senate, where it will be heard in committees before a full vote of the Senate.

To reach Senator Bill Monning’s office, please contact Elizabeth Stitt at (916) 651-4017 or elizabeth.stitt@sen.ca.gov. For Senator Lois Wolk’s office, please contact Monica Schmalenberger at (916) 651-4003 or monica.schmalenberger@sen.ca.gov.